Guilty Verdict for Bev Shooter
July 20, 2021 by Jamie Ward

The verdict comes nearly a year to the day of the July 18, 2020 incident

Stephen Corey of Mentor has been convicted of trying to kill a Chardon man when he shot him four times during a bar fight at the Chardon Tavern, or "Bev."

Almost a year to the day, Stephen Corey was convicted of shooting a Chardon man four times in a bar fight at Chardon Tavern and Grill, known locally as the “Bev.”

Corey, 31, of Palmerston Drive in Mentor, was convicted July 20, of attempted murder, two counts of assault and tampering with evidence, all felonies, said Geauga County Prosecutor Jim Flaiz.

He was found not guilty of attempted aggravated murder, which meant the jury did not find premeditation.

Flaiz said the jury also found Corey guilty of gun and forfeiture specifications, which will add mandatory aspects to the sentencing.

The trial, in front of Geauga County Common Pleas Court Judge Carolyn Paschke, started July 13 and lawyers made closing statements Monday afternoon.

Jurors also visited the crime scene, Flaiz said, before handing down the verdict late Tuesday morning.

Almost 20 total witnesses testified, including the victim, Matt Burns, and Corey.

Burns was shot four times July 28, 2020, in the knee, calf, foot and right collar bone, respectively, police said.

Nicholas Burling was the assistant prosecutor in the case.

Attempted murder is a first-degree felony, punishable by three to 11 years in prison. Tampering with evidence is a maximum of 36 months in prison. The gun specification is a mandatory three years consecutive to the sentence.

Corey’s bond was revoked and he was sent to the Geauga County Jail. Judge Paschke ordered a pre-sentencing report before a sentencing date is set.

A message left with his lawyer, Jay Crook, was not immediately returned at deadline.

Crook argued that Corey acted in self defense in the late night fight that happened at the bar’s back parking lot.

The fight broke out at 1:57 a.m. and the victim was said to be diffusing a “heated situation” when Corey retrieved his gun, a Glock 17 9mm, and fired 12 shots.

Flaiz said recent updates to Ohio law have made cases like this one harder for prosecutors.

“Because of the changes in the self defense laws, they eliminated the duty to retreat, they are incredibly hard for prosecutors,” Flaiz said. “We are very please the jury looked at the evidence and decided in favor of the state.”